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What is a Variceal Banding?

Variceal banding is a procedure that uses elastic bands to treat enlarged veins, or varices, in the esophagus. These abnormal veins develop in the esophagus and have thin walls with high blood pressure running through them. If not treated, the veins may rupture and cause serious bleeding. In people who have cirrhosis, high pressure in the veins that carry blood from the intestines to the liver (portal hypertension) causes many problems. Bleeding from enlarged veins in the digestive tract is an extremely complicated situation of hypertension. For people who have advanced cirrhosis and varices, especially in the esophagus, the risk of variceal bleeding is high. Variceal banding is a procedure that uses elastic bands to treat enlarged veins, or varices, in the esophagus. Variceal banding has been shown to be as effective as sclerotherapy in treating the bleeding.

Why One Needs To Get Variceal Banding Done?

Having variceal bleeding is a potentially life-threatening condition that requires prompt care and treatment. Variceal banding is commonly used to stop this bleeding and reduce the risk of serious complications.

What Is It Used To Treat?

Liver conditions can cause more blood to flow through the digestive tract, which can lead to enlarged veins hence resulting in Variceal bleeding. When you have this problem, you’re likely to have it occur again.

When Doctor Suggests To Get Variceal Banding?

If you have cirrhosis, your doctor should examine you for esophageal varices. How often you’ll undergo screening tests depends on your condition. If bleeding from the digestive tract is confirmed due to enlarged veins then immediate treatment is required as it can be life-threatening as well.

How To Prepare For the Procedure?

One is advised not to eat at least eight hours before the procedure. Your doctor may ask you to stop taking medications including aspirin, antiplatelets, etc one week before the procedure. This procedure is performed as part of an upper gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopy. Your throat may be sprayed with a numbing anesthetic before the procedure to allow smooth and painless passage of the endoscope down to your esophagus.

What Will Happen During the procedure?

During variceal banding, a doctor uses an endoscope to place an elastic ring that looks like a rubber band around an enlarged vein. These endoscopic techniques involve placing a tiny camera, instruments, and rings inside your digestive tract. Banding the vein in this manner will cut off blood flow through the vein. It may be difficult to use this procedure while someone is actively bleeding because the device used to place the bands obscures the doctor’s vision.

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How One Will Feel After the Procedure?

The medicine you received during the procedure may stay in your body for up to 24 hours. You may feel tired or sleepy and have trouble concentrating. Once you get home, relax for the rest of the day. You may have some bloating, stomach cramps, and a feeling of fullness because of the air we put in during the test. This will get better over several hours. You can return to your normal activities 24 hours after the procedure. After initial banding treatment, your doctor will repeat your upper endoscopy at regular intervals and apply more bands if necessary until the esophageal varices are gone or small enough to reduce the risk of further bleeding..

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